The last three months, I spent my time appearing for my high school examinations, losing myself at Tiesto’s concert, travelling around India, gaining weight by eating out almost every alternate day, listening to a lot 80’s disco music, taking Spanish lessons, cooking a lot at home, watching Grey’s Anatomy, partying often, buying second-hand cookbooks, romancing with my potential lover, celebrating my amazing high school results and spending time with family before I set off to college.
I have had friends, family and followers ask me – Why did I stop writing? It wasn’t until I was watching the movie Julie & Julia I realised that I haven’t posted on my blog for almost three months! It is nothing like I took a break from my relationship with food. I am still very much cooking a meal a day or making my tongue taste some of the greatest foods from the best restaurants. But then, the last three months have been about lazing around and not really writing. So, watching Julie Powell write about food, I decided it was time that I got back into my sphere.
At this moment I have about more than a decade of recipes to post and I believe I’ll have to start posting one everyday to catch up to my speed of blogging. So, why did I really stop blogging? I still don’t have an answer to it. But I am hoping to have one soon. Until then, My Mint and Plum Chutney Half Roast and Half Stove Chicken.
One of my aunts gifted me her old collection of books by Margaret Fulton on Everyday Cooking. It had a recipe of Roast Chicken in Cranberry Jam. By the sound of it you all would have guessed it is a Christmas Recipe. But then I think, do we really need Christmas as an excuse to eat a Roast Chicken? So the recipe said that I should use Cranberry Jam or Ginger Jam to marinade it and top it up with some spices and herbs and put it in the oven. So this roast basically happened by an accident. My family and I are not big on preservatives or any kind of jam. So, that ruled out the possibility of having jam at home. But the chicken looked so beautiful in the book, I just knew I had to make it. My aunt cooked the chicken in a similar way where she used jam and I couldn’t really think of an alternative. So I fished around the refrigerator for a substitute and I found my aunt’s organic home-made Mint and Plum Chutney. And that was the defining moment of my baby bird.
This chicken takes time. And as an Eighteen Year old, I am not very big on patience. And by the look of my recipes you would have figured that by now, I am sure. However, I would proudly like to declare that by end of this chicken anyone who is short on patience would master the art of it, including me.
So, all you want to do is, get a whole chicken (skin or w/o skin) and make it into 4 parts. Two whole legs, one whole breast and the remaining. Add about 4 tablespoons of Store bought or homemade Mint and Plum Chutney (If you can’t find it try going to an Indian store and look for a chutney with two contrasting flavors) Next, add about 10 big cloves of garlic, five with skin and the rest without. Add some soy sauce, jalapeno sauce, teriyaki sauce, fresh rosemary or fresh lemon grass. Some ground salt and pepper. One piri piri pepper and a bit of chilli flakes. Leave it for marination for about an hour before you start cooking.
Take a pan and heat little olive in it. When the oil is heated, take all the water out of the chicken ( keep the water in a separate container for the sauce later ) and fry the chicken on high flame. You may think that this would just burn chicken and not really help it cook through. But thing about this is, we first want a beautiful glaze over the chicken. A dark, beaming and rustic color would form after about 15 minutes of constant stirring over high flame. You then add a dash of wine and lower the heat for ten minutes. After that cover it with foil and stack in the over at 150 degrees in the fan mode so that the heat is evenly circulated. After about half an hour to forty-five minutes, take the chicken out into a serving bowl and then reduce the liquid in the pan over gas. Add a tsp of cornflour over the marinated juices and tip that into the pan with the sauce reducing. The sauce will eventually thicken and then pour it over the chicken after checking for the seasoning.
What this chutney would do to this chicken is not only give it a dense rich taste and a color but make it taste, something like you have been toiling in the kitchen for hours together to make it taste so complex and so delicious. But then, now you know the secret, don’t you ?
So there you have it, a Half Roast and Half Stove Mint and Plum Chutney Bird.
Ps. I promise not to disappear again. At least, not anytime soon. I missed blogging.